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Leaders as Influence


This article is Part 1 of an 11 part series of reflections on Patrick Duignan's book, "Educational Leadership".


Maxwell (2005) states that, " the true measure of leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less".


It is not uncommon for a teacher to identify the ‘leaders’ among a cohort of students by looking to see which students have influence amongst their peers or to notice the climate of a class change when one student with influence is absent. Sometimes, however, it is less obvious where the real influence is in a school community because it may not always reside with positional authority. 


Duignan proposes that if a leader is authentic they will have influence and will generate powerful spheres of influence through morally purposeful and uplifting relationships (Duignan) that are based on integrity, trust and respect for the dignity and worth of others. In an earlier paper he explained that "these relationships must be meaningful and authentic to generate and live a shared vision and elevate the spirit of commitment of colleagues (Duigan, 2008, p.145)


Where leaders lack influence, Duignan suggests it may be because they lack the emotional intelligence to be open, trusting and authentically reciprocal in their relationships (Patrick Duignan 2012, pp. 144–145). He also claims that influence is closely aligned to presence and so can be learned and improved


Publication Bibliography

Duignan, P (Unpublished). Leadership Presence and Influence Relationships: building collective efficacy and professional responsibility for quality learning and teaching in schools.

Duignan, P. (2012). Educational Leadership (2nd ed). Melbourne, NSW: Cambridge University Press.

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